Rebuke for Rimmer
Dr Rimmer's criticism of the ICE has been echoed by others who make no contribution to developing the role of the Institution in supporting the construction industry. I would advocate that if Dr Rimmer wanted to influence the role of the Institution he could have done it from inside.
In short, 'you only get out of something what you are prepared to put into it'.
We should not forget that the Institution has a number of roles. These include looking after the interests of its members, setting standards for the profession of civil engineer, providing the benefits of a learned society which involves keeping pace with developments in technology, and acting as a mouthpiece for the profession in responding to Government proposals.
Dr Rimmer may well not need to be Chartered to do his present job. That is true for many who have reached the pinnacle of their career but who have needed to be recognised as Chartered in their career development. Dr Rimmer became Chartered one year after me and, like myself, I am sure he was proud of the achievement, the status and the recognition.
To say that the image of the industry in the eyes of youngsters is not good is at odds with those working in the civil engineering profession who still see their prime goal as becoming Chartered - as we saw it 30 years ago. I am sure Dr Rimmer would like to take some comfort from the fact that there is a professional body trying to maintain professional standards which will ensure that those working on his projects can be relied on to do a good job.
He should consider the holistic role of the Institution and understand the high regard in which it is held by foreign governments as well as its sister professional bodies overseas.
I am saddened that Dr Rimmer has left the Institution. I am sure he could have brought great value to it from the experience he has gained since achieving Chartered status.
Norman Haste (F), Thornbury, South Gloucestershire BS35 1JF
Eager for Egan
As the main body representing civil engineers, the ICE should be active in promoting the likes of the Egan report which is, I believe, the way forward for all of the construction industry, large and small, and not just the commercial building sector.
Nearly a year after the Egan report was published, based on my own discussions with a number of construction teams around the country, I suspect that less than 10% of the industry is actively doing anything to promote what Egan recommended, or has any practical idea of how to go about it. Introducing the team or partnering culture is one means to this end.
Let us listen to what Bernard Rimmer is saying and act on it where necessary. But we don't have to leave the Institution to do it. We should support it.
Michael Thompson (F), email@example.com